I was honored to spend my time in a writing workshop today where I got to know some extraordinary people. We shared our stories, glimpses into our lives anyway, and we were diverse as any our host had seen before. I believe her too, because there was a 12 year old sci-fi budding writer, a State Representative, Realtors, Singers, an Executive, two New York Times best selling Authors, a pet sitter, and the room only had 12 people.
We shared, collaborated, admired, offered advice, and got our creative juices flowing. The politics were left and right, religion here and there, and yet there was no argument, anger, or angst. The differences between us were celebrated, shared and encouraged.
The idea behind the workshop was to give us ideas to help us write our journey, whether through prompt, props, or music, and a special guest to teach us how to stay on schedule. I was especially encouraged when the guest speaker said, “Never be ashamed to read.” Stephen King reads at the dining room table and makes no apology. I remember Jim saying that if a woman read on his boat he wouldn’t take her fishing. I never understood that, and told him it was ridiculous. I, of course, have read hundreds of books at sea. One of my favorite things of working on the water, going fishing everyday, and being at sea was getting rid of technology, give me the book. I was shaken in the morning by the second Captain who drove all night, crawled out of my bunk, put my boots on, and turned on the grill on my way to brush my teeth. (As a deckhand, grabbed a cup of joe on my way to the deck. Teeth came later, spf always first.) I read day and night, most of us did. We passed our books around from boat to boat, while some lay unfinished a thousand leagues under the sea.
I knew eventually it would come out, when the subject of scheduling time to write was broached, what need to happen for me to write more, to write my story, and the truth is nothing. Fortunately, only I was staring at my calendar which was empty. Of course I have STUFF to do, doctors, physical therapy, dog business, nonprofit, clean the house, but nothing like most. I don’t have a 8000 acre ranch to run, children, an 80 hour a week job, children running the house, or any other time consuming barrier to stop me from writing a book a month, but I don’t.
I said in the workshop that maybe I’m just not a writer. A good one anyway, and I’m not putting myself down don’t get me wrong. Perhaps I’m not a good fiction writer, much as I try. I’m starting to suspect that perhaps my writing talent lies elsewhere, and I need to rethink genres. One thing I have never done is count words, and that may have to change. Needless to say, this small journey of exploration was insightful, and I am grateful. Thank you Elaine Ambrose and AK Turner for a fabulous day!